We’ve all seen it countless times before in the private sector: a company, enslaved to its past or looking to give its moniker a hip new update, changes its name to better suit its audience or address events marring its progress. Years ago, tobacco giant Philip Morris changed its name to the Altria Group, when more and more independent studies proved the correlation between smoking/using tobacco and the onset of cancer. Biotech maker Activated Cell Therapy, altered its name to Dendreon, not only because it sounded sexier but more importantly gave people the impression that they were all about stimulating dendritic cells of the immune system to fight, you guessed it, cancer.
Two modelmakers may be faced with the same identity question in the not-too-distant future. Wings of the Great War, which instantly conjures up imagery of World War I biplanes and such, kicked off a line of WWI-based ground vehicles in late 2015, instantly faced a name recognition problem when it called the new range Wings of the Great War: Armor Collection – Tanks of World War I. Certainly a mouthful, the Company may have been better served if it changed its overarching name to say, The Machines of World War I, or The Great War Collection, which better denotes how the Company is attempting to reach both the aerial and armor enthusiasts of the period.
Likewise, Luft-X, which reemerged recently after facing some quality control issues, has thus far laid out a fine line of secret weapons projects that could have easily been added to the Luftwaffe’s roster had the war continued a bit longer. But what happens when the Company decides to replicate some of the experimental aircraft being developed by other nations embroiled in the conflict, such as the Japanese Kikka jet-powered aircraft or even the exotic Curtiss-Wright XP-55 Ascender pursuit fighter put forward by the US in 1943. Does the Company decide to go with the Nippon-X or US-X naming convention to address each faction, or do they decide to go with a more all-encompassing label such as Secret Projects of WWII?
For a company to succeed in this highly competitive industry, it is important that a customer instantly recognize what each particular model maker offers otherwise they face an uphill struggle trying to separate themselves from the pack. Food for thought for newcomers and entrenched favorites alike.